Monday, 29 April 2013

Underneath the Arches ...

We managed to get down the embankment underneath one of the arches of Marple Canal Aqueduct

Just look at the size of that stanchion holding up the bridge column

The many trees coming into bud prevent a clear view to the railway viaduct

Unfortunately there is no access to down to the river and this is the only view across viaduct over the Goyt
For its size it has a rather ‘delicate’ appearance I think

Dwarfed by the size of the viaduct


The tumbling River Goyt

and the far reaching views.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Goyt Aqueduct and River

 Trying to dodge the showers we set out for a quick walk to see if we could get under the aqueduct and viaduct

 You can see here that the canal aqueduct is a stone trough with no parapet on the off side and only a 12” raise in the coping stone edge

 Looking down approx 100 feet to the River Goyt ...

 … and the arches below.

 We walked towards Marple Locks and took a left turn down the embankment to where the Rivers Goyt and Etherow meet

 at Brabyns Park Iron Bridge

 Looking over the iron bridge

Click on the photos above to read the information regarding the building of Brabyns Park Iron Bridge

By this time it was raining so we hurried home - perhaps if the weather’s better tomorrow we’ll walk the ‘other’ way to see if we can get under the arches!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Chadkirk Chapel

 Sunrise at 07:40 after a very hard frost followed this morning by sun and heavy showers

 We decided rain or shine we’d walk so we went down the towpath to Hyde Bank Tunnel and over the top, following the towpath for a mile or so before turning back.  We found a path going into woodland at the north portal of the tunnel and turned onto it.

 Near the end of the path we could see an interesting building and what looked like information boards suggested that it was open to the public.

 On the other side is this unusual building and looks new.

 Chadkirk Chapel in a beautiful woodland setting

 There must be a local sculptor - just look at that woodpecker in the distance ...

… and that fantastic seat ...

… and the monk in the rose bed
Inside the chapel is more woodcarving, these panels by Ben Coode-Adams depicting he life of St Chad

The statue of St Chad and the alter were sculpted by Tom Dagnall

The east window designed by local artist Kate Davies, created in glass by another local artist Ian Hartless and depicts the chapel on the left and the ‘Grand Aqueduct’ which we travelled over yesterday.  The aqueduct was built over the River Goyt between 1794 and 1800 is 309 feet long and carries the canal 100 feet above the river.

 I loved the windows to the rear of the chapel - it is new glass but is riven and is a piece of artwork in its own right.

The font is 18th century and the surrounding metalwork was designed and made by Ben Coode-Adams incorporates both pagan and Christian themes including the Tree of Life the leaves of which symbolise the ‘healing of nations'

Sculpture in the walled garden

A woodcutters paradise!

A beech nut

That fantastic woodpecker

A fox

A mouse

and another one!
 Looking back at Chadkirk Chapel - a great place to visit.
It was warm today, the birds were singing as we sat in the garden, it was so tranquil.  There is no charge to view the chapel and inside there is a small cafe providing hot and cold drinks and ice cream to visitors - well worth a visit.

… and back to Rock n Roll

The last of the sun this evening at 20 past 8.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Nearly the end of April, a winter coat and best laid plans

Yesterday afternoon soon after mooring at Marple we became acquainted with Jelene and John who’d pulled into moor opposite; a few hours later Jelene knocked inviting us to join them in a quiz at the local Top o’ the Hill.  She mentioned that they’d had a bit of an accident with the tiller arm in one of the locks as they came up - a rush of water had sent their shared owner boat into the cill and I offered George to have a look to see if he could help, thinking that it may have jumped out of the skeg.  Whilst he and John went to investigate Jelene came aboard RnR. The boys returned - it wasn’t so simple and couldn’t be fixed by them; Dawn Mist would have to limp along to the marina where it was booked for the fix tomorrow.

We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours with them, they are enjoying our British weather including the rain (they come from Florida) and were glad to be away from the heat.  Their journey up Marple locks had been pretty horrendous as the pounds were very low and the paddle gear very heavy, the one saving grace was that there were plenty of volunteers to help boaters with their passage through the lock flight.

After they’d left we discussed our own journey down the locks. Will the water be low? Will the volunteers be there tomorrow? We decided to get up early (with the dog!) and beat the traffic!

07:05 saying cheerio to Jelene and John - good to meet you two - stay in touch!

Half an hour later after a very, very slow tap only ¾ filling the tank we reverse away from the water point ...

… reversing into the narrow …

… and turning the junction basin to our first problem of the day … no not a low pound … the gate won’t open, there’s something stopping the gate from opening, fortunately a CRT operative has just come on duty - it’s now 07:40!

A look around while I’m waiting for the problem to be solved … 
… looking back down the Macclesfield Canal …

Our destination - Huddersfield - 29 miles and goodness only knows how many locks!
By this time I’m feeling really cold - the temperature is around 3 degrees and I swap my fleece for my down winter coat - at the end of April!

…This cottage by the basin accommodates the manager of Bugsworth Basin - a lovely spot.

8 o’clock and they’re still trying to remove the traffic cone lodged down there …

20 past 8 and we’re in lock 16 the first of the day. Although they couldn’t get the cone out, the gate will now open - so much for that early start!

As we had been told the gear mechanism is hard going!

Taken from the towpath yesterday afternoon when the top lock was full you can see that the outer wall is leaking …

… and the top gates inside leak badly too!

Yesterday’s photo below lock 16 shows the attractive pound (water between locks)

Leaky lock 15 too!

The Marple lock flight ascend/descend 214 feet within the space of a mile - each lock having a rise/fall of about 13.5 feet, are among the deepest locks in the country and displace about 10,000 gallons every time a boat passes through!

Lock 14 has huge gushes - there must be an awful lot of water behind that wall - I was so glad that I’d popped inside to close the windows!

The lock also leaks from the entrance when it’s full! 

Taken yesterday whilst walking towards lock 13 takes us down this lovely cobbled pathway to ... 

… a horse tunnel (would have allowed the horse towing a boat to pass the lock) goes under Posset Road Bridge ...

… there’s also a boatman’s tunnel at this lock which would have enable the boater to manhandle their boat into and out of the lock

Looking from the boatman’s tunnel into the exit from the lock ...

… and back up those slippery steps to the cobbled path ...

… to the horse tunnel

The Posset Road Bridge (18) was erected in 1804 - the middle arch leads to lock 13, the right hand one is the horse tunnel and the one on the left used to lead to Samuel Oldknows Lime Kilns.

Waiting for lock 12 to be ready and I wonder if it’s a bit warmer in that sunshine beyond

Lock 11 has the first top gate that doesn’t leak at all - it was fitted just last year

Outside the bottom gates of lock 11 with it’s hanging garden watching George wheel locking … 

Once RnR was safely inside each lock he opened one paddle on the bottom gates to allow me to slowly descend while he readied the next lock, he then came back to open the gates of the lock I’m in, let me out and closed the gates behind me.  Then walking back to the lower lock which by now I’m in and closes the gates - in this way water is not wasted as I descend.

Lock 14 from the towpath showing the elaborate coping stones leading to the bridge ...

… and from the canal ...

… looking back at the Mill, now offices ...

… and this pretty cottage by the towpath.

More leaks here too

20 minuets to 10 at lock 8 halfway down the flight where the pounds open out into lakes ...

… and there are views over the Goyt Valley ...

A culvert wall failure at lock 7 ...

… and another leaky gate and wonky lock ‘bumper’ ...

… keeping well away from that landslide!

A wall to wall lock carpet ...

… in lock 3 - not far now! 

I’ve spent so much time this morning I’ve been reading the stones ...

I wonder if these etchings ... 

… are the stonemasons marks and one of these two has been laid upside down?

Or have they been made ...

by a bored boater ...

… old or more modern ...

upside down, back to front or dyslexic ?

From lock 2 there’s another tantalising view of the valley

I don’t believe it … the volunteers have arrived ...

and theres a boat coming up lock 1 right at the bottom of the flight ...

… well, at least George had help at these two locks

Looking back after clearing the Marple lock flight ...

 … and passing over Marple Aqueduct - wasn’t I brave to be standing here to take photo’s?

There’s no parapet on the aqueduct but the view under the railway viaduct is stunning!

Just as we came into moor the hailstones arrived!

but when the sun came out the views from our mooring are great.  Since mooring here at 11:30 only one boat has passed us heading towards the locks - so why on earth did we get up so early I ask myself!!!

A cup-a-tea, some lunch, a couple of hours kip, a quiet afternoon and an evening in front of the telly completes a brilliant day!